Aru Valley Pahalgam - A Complete Guide
Aru Valley,  Jammu and Kashmir,  My Experience

Aru Valley Pahalgam – A Complete Guide

What if I tell you that Aru Valley Pahalgam is more known to foreign tourists as compared to the Indian tourists.

Yes,

Maybe I am wrong

But I am sharing this from my personal experience after spending four days in Aru Valley.

I request to Keep yourself connected, have a seat, bring some coffee and donuts to eat because this will be going to be a complete Aru Valley Pahalgam guide.

And

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How to Reach from Delhi to Pahalgam

To reach Aru Valley Pahalgam first you have to reach Pahalgam from Delhi.

Pahalgam is located at a distance of 800km-820km from Delhi, listed below are the options you can choose –

1. Pahalgam by bus from Delhi

Since there are no direct buses to reach Pahalgam from Delhi, all you can do is –

  1. Take a Bus from Delhi till Jammu.
  2. After reaching Jammu, take a shared taxi/private taxi and reach Pahalgam (Approx. 254km).

2. Pahalgam by Train from Delhi

Since there are no direct trains from Delhi to Pahalgam, all you can do is –

  1. Take a Train from Delhi to Jammu/Udhampur.
  2. After reaching Jammu/Udhampur take a shared taxi and reach Pahalgam.

3. Pahalgam by flight from Delhi

The nearest Airport to reach Pahalgam is in Srinagar, all you can do is –

  1. Take a flight from Delhi to Srinagar.
  2. After reaching Srinagar take a private taxi/shared taxi to reach Pahalgam.

The Conclusion arises here is that you have to take a taxi to cover another half to reach the desired location (Pahalgam).


Witnessed Eye Catching Sky on reaching Pahalgam
Witnessed Eye-Catching Sky on reaching Pahalgam

How to Reach from Srinagar to Pahalgam

I faced a problem here, that how can I reach Pahalgam from Srinagar. Since there are no direct buses available and the cost of a private taxi is high.

But, before first read about how you can reach Srinagar from Delhi by road

The distance between Srinagar and Pahalgam is around 90km.

I inquired on Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Information Centre and they told me –

  1. First, take a shared cab to Anantnag/Islamabad from HP petrol pump near Jan Bakers.
  2. Then, again take a shared cab to Pahalgam from Anantnag/Islamabad.

Probably you will be leaving for Pahalgam the next day, i.e. spend a good 24hrs in Srinagar

Let me explain the above-mentioned points in detail –

1. Srinagar to Anantnag/Islamabad by shared taxi

Reach HP petrol pump near Jan Bakers which is a few minutes’ walk away from Dal gate, high five if you are staying near Dal Lake or in a houseboat (approx. 15-20 minutes’ walk).

The cab will be going to charge Rs.100 from Srinagar to Anantnag/Islamabad and it will be 55-56km of a smooth drive.

*Don’t get confused in Anantnag/Islamabad – You can opt for any.

 2. Anantnag/Islamabad to Pahalgam by shared taxi

You will be dropped at Anantnag taxi stand and from there take a shared taxi to Pahalgam.

The cab will charge Rs.80 and the driving distance is around 40km, the cab will drop you in Pahalgam.



How to reach Aru Valley from Pahalgam

Okay, now you have reached Pahalgam from Delhi or Srinagar.

Wait,

The shared taxi ride is not over yet.

As soon as I reached Pahalgam, people started talking with me in English as if I don’t know the mother tongue Hindi.

After I uttered a word –

Me– “Aru Jana Hein” means I wanted to go Aru.

People – Aree Bhaijaan aap to apne hi hein – Brother you are local (Not a foreign tourist).

Take a shared taxi to reach Aru Valley.

It is at a distance of 12km.

The driver will charge Rs.50 from tourists and Rs.30 from local people, don’t know what kind of equation is this.

Let’s move forward, but where to move?

I reached Aru Valley Pahalgam after so much of sharing, you know right.

Welcome to less talked about place to visit in Pahalgam.

Aru Valley

Upon reaching Aru Valley
Upon reaching Aru Valley

Reaching Aru Valley in Kashmir is among my best road trips till date.

Please have a look at the video on Aru Valley and don’t forget to subscribe my Youtube Channel (Pretty new there) –

Aru Valley Pahalgam is the base for many adventure activities like trekking in summers and skiing in winters.

You have some questions like –

Q. Can we come in our own car in Aru?

Ans. Yes, you can come by your own car and have to pay Rs.20 for entering in the Aru Valley.

Aru Valley – Hotel and Guesthouse Options

After reaching Aru Valley Pahalgam, the first thing you will do is search for a place to stay.

Listed below are the Aru Valley Hotels and Guesthouse options available in your trip –

1. Friends Guest House

Friends Guest House
Friends Guest House

The cab will drop you right in the center of Aru and on the corner, you will see friend’s tea stall, the next to this is Friends Guest House.

Just as the name suggests make friends from all over the world.

You will find a room between Rs.800 – Rs.1200 per night (can be subject to change depending upon season).

2. Fimi Hotel

Fimi Hotel
Fimi Hotel

The Hotel Fimi looks good from all the hotels in Aru but it was under construction when I went to Aru Valley, hopefully, will open soon. You can always check on this.

3. Hotel Milky Way

Hotel Milky Way
Hotel Milky Way

Milky way is next to hotel Fimi.

There is a total combination of 4-5 hotels and guesthouses in the Valley.

4. Rohella Guest House

Rohella Guest House
Rohella Guest House

A walk in the village and you’ll be going to find this guest house on the opposite line of Friends Guest House in the end.

5. Aru Heights Guest House

View from Backyard of Aru Heights Guest House
View from Backyard of Aru Heights Guest House

I can write a complete article on Aru Heights because I stayed here during my visit to Aru Valley.

Aru height is located on the route to Lidderwat. A room will cost you around Rs.500 – Rs.1000. A family manages this guesthouse who plays the role of everyone, from cleaning to cooking they do everything by themselves.

These are some of the options you can look for a stay in Aru Valley.

TripAdvisor

Wait,

One more

Hotel Alpine and Restaurant

A Hotel and Restaurant from J&K Tourism Corp. Department
A Hotel and Restaurant from J&K Tourism Corp. Department

A hotel by J&K tourism department corporation.

Have you thought of living in a home surrounded by mountains and greenery all around and a big garden in front of your house?

Your wish has just come true, Hotel alpine is located right at the point of attraction.




A room at Hotel alpine for a night will cost Rs.1315. Yes, it’s a luxury hotel, i.e. decision depends upon person to person and their needs.

On What to choose….

Basic stay vs luxury stay.

At the very starting of the article, I wrote a line that ________

Yeah, you did It right, scrolled right up to remember.

 

Garden in Aru
Garden in Aru

Q. Why Aru Valley Is Majorly known to foreign tourists?

A. The answer I got from my personal experience is summarized in points below –

A Majority of foreign tourists are from Israel.

Israel people love few parts of India as you have also witnessed in Kasol, Dharamkot, McLeod Ganj and many more parts of Himalayas.

Important factors are – Cheap accommodation like you will get a room in Aru in-between Rs.300 – Rs500, Low-cost good food, adventure activities like trekking (As I told Aru is base for many treks), peaceful surroundings in the foothills of the mountain and away from any city bustle.

i.e. these are some of the important reasons that make Aru Valley a foreign tourists favorite spot in Pahalgam Kashmir.

Aru Valley Weather

Weather in the Himalayas is highly unpredictable, I have visited at the starting of July, call it summers and pre-monsoon season.

  1. The days are very sunny like you will literally sweat if you keep walking for a few minutes.
  2. Evening brings rain and cold wind.
  3. The nights are cold and windy.

On being asked about the winters here, locals replied –

  1. In winters the snow covers all our houses till the roof.
  2. People shift to lower region or wipe out snow daily.

i.e. you cannot predict the weather by looking at the sky, it’s advised to carry all season clothes. I know this sounds weird but this is how it goes.

For e.x- half t-shirts and shorts, raincoat and umbrella, jacket and warm caps.

Weather is Unpredictable on Mountains
Weather is Unpredictable on Mountains

Best season to visit

Best season is undoubtedly the starting of summers that is from April till pre-monsoon that is July and then post monsoon that is Sept to Nov.

*Monsoon season brings landslide and roadblocks i.e. It’s not an ideal time to go.

I hope many of you have seen the video footage in the news about the landslides on Jammu – Srinagar highway. It’s highly not recommended to go in monsoon season.

Getting Around Aru Valley

Getting around Aru Valley
Getting around Aru Valley

Exploring Aru Valley needs no four vehicles, all it needs is two foot to see around in Aru.

It’s a very small place and it generally going to take max to max 2hr – 3hr in exploring the whole area unless and until you indulge in any fun/adventure activities.

Adventure Activities to Indulge in Aru Valley

A place is bookmarked by people when they do something exciting and the visual image in mind comes alive like –

Hey, you remembered we did river rafting at that place?

OR

You got nearly drawn in the water while surfing, this might not make you sleep till now?

These are the sweet memories we live for and ultimately brings a smile when the bookmarked memory is recalled.

Okay,

Pahalgam from Top
Pahalgam from Top

Aru Valley Pahalgam is full of adventures like –

  1. You can trek to some of the most beautiful lakes Tarsar Marsar, Katarnag lake and many more.

I opted for Katarnag lake trek.




*Note – The Rates shown below in the image might be subject to change a bit when asked in person. You must ask before taking a decision.

Treks from Aru Valley Pahalgam
Treks from Aru Valley Pahalgam

Not a fan of trekking no problem, What about Pony ride?

In Around Aru Valley Pahalgam
In Around Aru Valley Pahalgam
  1. Horse ride (pony ride) to Green top, Kooth Pathri, and River point. Check out in the image below for rates and where you can go–

I reached kooth Patri and River point that too without the horse 😛.

Not a fan of Horse riding? No problem,

  1. Camp under the stars in Aru Valley.

Not a fan of camping? No problem,

  1. Spend some time in the valley only, lying in the grassy field.

Not a fan of grass fields?

Okay,

Beautiful Aru Valley Pahalgam from other perspective
Beautiful Valley from another perspective

I think the time has come to go home now 😂.

Just Kidding,

You must be tired and hungry after all the adventures –

Restaurants in Aru Valley

Currently, there are two restaurants in Aru Valley Pahalgam, they are –

  1. Sagar Restaurant
  2. Poonam Restaurant

They are next to each other; you can easily spot them.

*Must try Kashmiri Kahwa.

Let me tell you what did I told while ordering –

Me – One Keshwa please,

Person – Looked strangely, what Keshwa here 🤔.

Person – After 2 sec, it’s Kahwa.

Me – OH, yes 😅.


Medicine Store in Aru Valley

(I know that Aru Travel Guide is going deep, but I am sharing my experience and that will going to help).

If you get any injuries during adventuring or feeling low then there’s a medical store called Riaz medical store.

Local people say that he provides very good medicine and I say too.

After the trek, my whole body was paining and I went to Riaz medical store to get pain relief.

After 3-4hr I felt really good like I can go again for another trek right now.

Shopping in Aru Valley

Aru Valley in Pahalgam has 3-4 traditional clothing shops and Pashmina Kashmiri shawls are among the best buy when on Kashmir trip.

Children's of Kooth Pathri (Aru Valley Pahalgam)
Children’s of Kooth Pathri (Aru Valley Pahalgam)

Things to do in Aru Valley Pahalgam with Friends and Family

Outing in Aru Valley is itself a magnificent decision and that too with family. Let’s see what all you can do with your family in Aru –

1. Trekking to Lidderwat/Tarsar Lake

If you and your friends & family are fond of treks then Trek to Lidderwat might fascinate you. Hence, if you want to experience crystal clear white sheet of the lake then trek further to Tarsar lake (Might not see ice lake in post summers).

  • Trek to Lidderwat will be of 1 day by foot, you can camp there and come back the next day.
  • You can also opt for horses; it will take 1 day and you can come back the same day on horses.

You have to hire a guide in both cases.

And

If you want to trek further till Tarsar lake, then you have to take some time off because it takes 2 nights and 3 days to back on your base that is Aru Valley.

2. Enjoy a Pony Ride

Hip-Hop on a pony as the guide will take you across beautiful green parts of the valley and enjoy the Kashmir landscape.

3. Spend time in J&K Tourism park

Hotel Alpine has a big park where you can chill with your family, click pictures and can play cricket too.
It’s a perfect outing park in the valley where you don’t feel like going home.

4. Morning walk in the quiet village of Aru

Don’t make any assumptions about the morning walk as it is a normal village walk where-

Horses are tied in ropes,

People leaving with goats.

Normal thing in Kashmir are Horses
The normal thing in Kashmir are Horses

Connectivity in Aru

Connectivity in Aru Valley Pahalgam
Connectivity in Aru Valley Pahalgam

I am glad that there’s no connectivity, to be honest in Aru Valley.

I myself faced difficulties in reaching out to my home where I asked locals to give their phones for a few minutes call, but it’s good to wonder where’s no network.

Only BSNL works and No Airtel, Voda or any other network provider is available but JIO is coming soon in Aru as one of the local told.

*Note – Remember that only postpaid sim, I am not going in detail as I have already talked in detail here – Srinagar Travel in a day.


Budget Required for Aru Valley

It’s hard to tell the budget required because everybody has different preferences.

But as a person who would prefer staying in a luxury hotel as compared to the other budgeted hotels the difference is bound to arise.

Anyways,

Let’s try to calculate the budget for 2 days for a single person in Aru –

Reaching Aru Valley from Delhi by road and return would be around Rs. 1700-1800 (one way)

Stay and food – Rs 2300 – Rs 2400

Any adventure activity, can’t predict here because it varies in so many dimensions.

For e.x – a pony ride to Green top = Rs. 350 and a trek to Tarsar around = Rs 5000 – 6000.

On an average = Rs. 6000 – Rs 7000 (Including Adventure activity like pony ride around the valley)

And Rs. 10,000 -Rs.11,000 (Including Adventure activity like longer treks).

If you would like to ask me the budget in which I did is –

Around Rs. 2700 – Rs. 2800 excluding the onward and return journey because I had visited other places also.

Conclusion

This takes us to the end of Aru Valley Pahalgam guide. The conclusion arises here is that Aru is gaining popularity among the youngsters and families, all age group to be honest because of the things involved to keep people intact at least for a few days.

But don’t make this place like other gems which have turned into polluted areas like the throwing of garbages, not traveling responsibly and many more.

i.e try to keep this place as nature has offered to us.

*Keeping the current situation of Kashmir in mind, try to go after the Amarnath Yatra maybe towards the end of August or September. Until then save this guide in your mobile phones or pin for future references.

I hope that I have covered every necessary aspect that one is required to know.

If still, something is missing, comment down below and I will let you know.

And

I will be making few other posts on Aru Valley covering different aspects.

If this article has somehow helped you, then don’t forget to share and subscribe.

Happy and safe traveling in Aru.

Summary
Aru Valley Pahalgam - A Complete Guide
Article Name
Aru Valley Pahalgam - A Complete Guide
Description
This Article completely focuses on Aru Valley, from places of stay to things to do in Aru. Every Information that is important and one needs to know is present in this article. Give it a read and any info needed then let me know in the comments.
Author
Publisher Name
Vansh Tiwari

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